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Local progress toward an AIDS-free generation

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Committed to creating an AIDS-free generation since 2011, Born Free Africa has led collaborative efforts across the public and private sector to recruit, develop and empower individuals to drive change in their communities and governments towards elimination.

Johnson & Johnson partnered with Born Free Africa to accelerate progress by enabling the scale-up of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services in Nigeria and supporting the “Rapid Response Team” initiative in Kenya that aims to improve resources and capabilities targeted at the Ministry of Health.

Born Free Africa has had a monumental impact on HIV infections in Kenya, where the mother-to-child transmission rate was reported at 8% in 2015 – a 47% decrease since 2014 – and the number of children born with HIV has decreased by 50% from 2014 to 2015.

In 2010, the Government of Kenya developed a revised constitution in which county-level governments became responsible for overseeing the provision of health care, pre-primary education and maintenance of local roads. This presented a challenge to the provision of health care services and effective coordination of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs and a unique opportunity for intervention.

In response, Born Free Africa partnered with the Kenyan government to design a “Rapid Response Team” to catalyze the impact of PMTCT programs in 20 of the 47 counties throughout Kenya in 2014.

The Rapid Response Team worked with new county leadership structures to strengthen the capacity of HIV workers in existing facilities and maintain focus on the elimination of mother-to-child transmission. The team reviewed data and conducted Service Quality Assessments in 100 health facilities to identify that a significant number of infant HIV infections were due to ineffective antiretroviral drug regimens given to women and children and limited post-natal follow up during which infants are monitored for infection.

In collaboration with Born Free Africa and with support from Johnson & Johnson, local governments worked to address this issue, reducing the number of ineffective treatment regimens by 72% in two months and updating Kenya’s national HIV guidelines for improved PMTCT service delivery.

Johnson & Johnson will continue to support Born Free Africa to leverage valuable insights from the field to design impactful solutions that empower individuals and strengthen health systems to drive change towards an AIDS-free generation.

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